Let him have his moment.
Yesterday, my twins insisted on a roly-poly hunt. They first discovered a roly-poly on the way into school on Friday. “Mom, look at this bug!” one of them exclaimed as he bent down close to the ground to see it. “It looks like it has a shell made of armor!”
Though I first wanted to admonish him for crouching down on the ground in the middle of the parking lot, I relented when I saw the sense of wonder on his face. Checking quickly that no cars were around, I stooped down too and said “Yes, that’s a roly-poly.” He let the word roll around in his mouth as he gently touched the bug. Suddenly, he pulled his hand back in surprise. “Whoa, what did it just do!” The bug, true to his name, had rolled into a ball. “That’s what they do for defense against little boys poking them,” I said. He immediately picked the ball up and stared in wonder as it opened and closed in his hand.
The next day both twins begged for hours to go find more roly-polies. So, I gave them two paper cups and we went on a hunt. At first, they were anxious they’d never see another one. Then one twin found one, and the other twin was instantly jealous. As his brother watched the roly-poly move and roll in his little cup, he grew frustrated and sad by what he couldn’t see himself. He felt left out of the wonder.
Finally, almost twenty minutes later, we found a roly-poly for him. He shooed us away and said “Back up. I want it to come to me. I want to be the one to feel it.” So we let him have his moment. It took a bit for him to get the bug into his cup. He treated it as if it was a long lost friend. I’ve never seen a face so in love with a bug.
Once he got his moment, he joined us again excitedly feeling once again a part of the journey.
In today’s Gospel, we see that the apostles got their cups of grace earlier than Thomas did. So, when it was Thomas’s turn, of course he needed his special moment. He needed a little more than the rest to feel connected. As he had his moment touching the wounds of Christ, I imagine his face lit up with love. Then, he could finally be back on the journey with everyone else.
Our cups of grace get doled out in our own right times. Sometimes we are late to the game, but God is always ready to give us our moment. May we not be afraid to ask for it.